Personal Writings

Parts of a Whole

Well, I guess that happened. I moved. I officially live in Ottawa once more.

As the plane touched down I felt incredibly startled, my eyes blinking in shock. It all seemed to happen so fast. The plane rushed through layers of dense fog, abruptly landing amidst a city,just as I had been hurtling through packing and goodbyes, only to arrive in Ottawa with no plans, nothing waiting for me.

Of course, the hurtling didn’t stop immediately when I landed. It still hasn’t stopped. Throughout the past few days I have been gradually moving over to my beautiful new apartment, and I won’t even have internet until Tuesday. There are members of my family who I have yet to see, and I am hurriedly trying to organize a basic medical team, with my first appointment tomorrow.

But I have been rushing towards this destination, this move, for quite a while, and now that the physical transfer of cities is complete, I’m not really sure what I should be doing.

I have four months until classes start, with no plans beyond getting ‘settled’.

And that’s important. It’s the reason I moved at the beginning of the summer. To have time before classes begin, to find doctors, therapists, and trainers, to adjust to the Ottawa climate, to learn what transit works for me, and to get used to the quirks of a new space.

But it doesn’t exactly give me a schedule. It doesn’t give me a chance to meet people, and to live, not to merely exist.

Theoretically, these 4 months should be a gift. It’s quite rare that anyone gets a block of time with no obligations or responsibilities, free to fill however they wish.

And yet, I’ve been struggling to come up with activities.

I used to be limited in my summer plans because everything in my life revolved around music. I wrote music exams, so I couldn’t travel. I had to stop going to summer sleep away camp. I couldn’t stay out late because I had competitions and auditions. I always had rehearsal.

And now, I have none of those constraints. But I feel choked by financial and physical limitations. I want to dance. I want to run. I want to sing. I want to perform. I want to travel. I want to work, to work enough to earn the money to travel and see great performances. To see my friends who are now so far away.

I feel like my body is holding me back from opportunities. And I fear that as I go to meet new people, people to make plans and fill my time with, that it will rise up and mask me, that I will not get a chance to show them who I truly am.

But the thing is, although I chose music and I didn’t choose illness, both are a part of me. Neither define me, but both are interwoven into my being, my exposure to them has affected more of me than I can ever fully grasp.

I have been struggling, trying to find ways around my body, to let ‘myself’ out of this apparent prison. But really, by seeing my body as separate from my being, I am only doing myself a disservice.

Because of my body, I prefer quiet conversations with close friends. I get excited over comfortable clothing and fancy spices and salts. I like alone time. I need schedules. I am cynical. I am empathetic. I write my thoughts down. And I creak when I walk.

On most days, I quite like who I have become. And my body is a part of that, just as music has been. So when I look for activities and people to share them with, it will be with the understanding that this is who I am now.

And that’s going to have to be okay.

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  • Laura says:

    It must be quite natural to see your body as separate from yourself, since it has changed so rapidly. Sounds like a huge challenge, but I think you’re doing the right thing by considering it as one of many things that makes you who you are.

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